Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed

Start Up Visa                                                                         

To qualify for a start-up visa you will need:

Letter of Support

This can be obtained from a designated organisation which supports your business venture or idea. (The letter of support must be included in your application as evidence)

If you do not have a Letter of Support from a designated organization or do not meet any of the eligibility requirements below, your application will be refused.

Meet the language requirements

You must prove your ability in English or French in these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

Being able to communicate and work in English, French or both will help your business in Canada.

You must meet the minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French for all four language abilities.

If you do not meet the minimum language skills, we will refuse your application.

You must take a language test from an agency approved by CIC and include the results when you apply. If you do not, we will not process your application and we will return your fees.

Use your test results to find your CLB level

Have sufficient money for stay

You must be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependants with you when you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to support the costs of living for your family.

The Government of Canada does not provide financial support to new Start-up business visa immigrants.

You will need to provide proof of your funds when you submit your application for immigration.

The amount of money you need depends on the size of your family. These amounts are updated every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $11,931
2 $14,853
3 $18,260
4 $22,170
5 $25,145
6 $28,359
7 or more $31,574


When arriving into Canada you will need to disclose your funds to a Canadian Official if it is over C$10,000. If you do not tell an official, you may be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • Negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders).

Self Employed

A self employed person means a foreign national who has relevant experience, intends and is able to be self-employed in Canada and can contribute to Canada’s economy in one of the required areas.

To qualify for as a self-employed person, you must:

Have at least 2 years relevant experience, this has to be during the period starting five years before the day you apply and ending on the day we make a decision on your application.

Your experience is relevant if you have:

  • taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level,
  • been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics, or
  • Experience in managing a farm.

You will also be assessed using a selection criteria based on:

  • experience,
  • education,
  • age,
  • language abilities, and

You and any family members will need to provide proof of medical exams and police certificates.

You will also need to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.